My Blog

A Review of the NiteCore MT20A LED Flashlight

NOTE: I do NOT own the featured image on this page, it is the property of NiteCore…

I am NOT an aviator by any stretch of the imagination.

I have only been on an aircraft four times and every time I was merely a passenger.

However, I am quite well rounded on the subject of flashlights as just about everyone who knows me is well aware of.

On this evening of November 16, 2018, I will write a review of the NiteCore MT20A LED flashlight and how I think it is the best aviation flashlight for the money.

I have owned one of these since January of 2018 and it is also featured in a short story I had wrote in February 2018. By the way, when I wrote that story, I had not yet been on an aircraft. No, it was composed and inspired strictly from my countless hours of researching flashlights.

I had purchased mine on eBay and I probably paid less than the MSRP, since the said website usually sells items for less than what they are suggested to sell for.

This flashlight only set me back $36.44 with free shipping. NiteCore’s website, to my knowledge, does not list an MSRP, but I would venture to guess it should cost no more than $50 brand new.

In other words, this flashlight should neither break the bank nor tie up too much of your credit line.

It is constructed of very durable Aerospace Aluminum, comes with a pocket clip as well as a lanyard, a ring, and a pouch. It features a forward clicky switch. The maximum light output of Turbo Mode 360 Lumens lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The light settings can be set to lower outputs of High Mode 240 Lumens for 2 hours and 15 minutes, Mid Mode 120 Lumens for 5 hours and 45 minutes, Low Mode 17 Lumens for 24 hours and Ultra Low Mode 1 Lumen for 180 hours. In addition to those diverse light settings, it also has a dedicated red LED for preserving night vision. And not only that, there is a tactical strobe for self-defense, an SOS strobe for emergency location when summoning help and a red beacon mode for locating the flashlight in a dark room. Settings are changed by pressing buttons on the side of the light engine module to cycle through the different modes. The flashlight has an incredible memory and will always switch on to the mode it was last used in. It is impact resistant for a fall on concrete at a height of up to 1 Meter. It also has a waterproof rating of IPX-8, which means it can be submerged to a depth of 2 Meters. If you aren’t sold as of yet, might I add that this flashlight runs on two common, everyday AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries? This gives it a clear advantage over Sure Fire’s American made Aviator flashlights which run on those expensive and exotic CR123A batteries. In my opinion, this flashlight is the best flashlight and possibly product in general ever to come out of Mainland China-change my mind!

I have edced this flashlight on an off since January of 2018 and it has had a permanent residence in my Swiss Gear edc backpack when not on my person.

As I have said before, I am not an aviator by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think this is an ideal flashlight for all aviators and I will back up my claim in the following sentences:

First of all, Turbo Mode is ideal for preflight inspection of the aircraft. This setting should allow the user to find any defects in the aircraft’s body that need to be corrected prior to flight.

Also, the High Mode could be used for doing maintenance and repairs on the aircraft and the technician or pilot would be able to see all of the dark areas of the aircraft’s mechanical features.

Yet, Mid Mode could be used when walking at night to and from the hangar or airport lounge.

There’s more, Low Mode could be used for navigating around in an unfamiliar hotel room at night.

Ultra Low Mode could be used for reading your favorite literature or using the remote control without disturbing your roommate in the hotel room at night.

The dedicated red LED light feature is probably what makes this ideal for aviators more than anything else as it allows the pilot to read instruments and charts or perform minor cockpit repairs during a nighttime flight without degrading his or her night vision. That feature alone should sell the flashlight to any aviator out there in need of a flashlight!

The optional red LED Beacon Mode will allow the owner to quickly locate this flashlight even in the most cluttered of baggage.

Wait, there’s more, and these next features would prove indispensable should the something catastrophic happen:

The Tactical Strobe could help fight off a hijacker, by disorienting him or her. Also, the lanyard holes that recess on either side of the tail cap could do some damage to the hijacker’s face, eyes or teeth if struck hard enough, further disorienting him or her. A hard enough blow to the hijacker’s temple or windpipe could completely neutralize the situation. Take this advice at your own risk as the hijacker may also be a skilled fighter.

The SOS Strobe could be used in the case of a downed aircraft either on land or at sea (because it is waterproof) to identify your location to rescue crews on a dark night.

So, to all my aviator friends out there, I hope you all can see that this flashlight is a useful and equally budget-friendly option for your occupational illumination.

And not just aviators, but anyone who works in the transportation and logistics industries at night would quickly fall in love with the NiteCore MT20A.

This flashlight could also be ideal for boat and ship captains in the wheelhouse, for similar reasons, provided they keep it out of the engine room and away from any flammable cargo.

Long-haul truck drivers and locomotive engineers could also appreciate this flashlight for nighttime operations, again provided they keep it away from any flammable cargo and make durn sure to turn it off while refueling.

The only gripes I have about this flashlight are two and they are:

Why can’t the main LED be a Warm White, especially for inspection and maintenance purposes, but also for Medevac pilots to better examine patients?

AND

Why can’t American companies makes something like this in an American factory?

This therefore concludes my review of the NiteCore MT20A, I hope you, the reader, are now more informed on your flashlight purchasing options…

Love Among Terrorism

It’s a quiet Friday evening.

I sit alone in my apartment eating white beans and rice seasoned with Jalapeno peppers soaking in white vinegar.

Who knew such a cheap meal could taste so good?

After I take my last bite, I clear my table and walk to the kitchen sink to wash dishes.

I pour some dish detergent in the basin and draw the hot water.

As I wash the pots, plates, and utensils, I think about my wonderful girlfriend and how she and I will spend the day together tomorrow.

I am 31 and she is 27, but we pretend that she is 17 and I am 21.

She brightens up my otherwise sad life and I thank God for her and only wish that we would have met much sooner.

Suddenly, I hear a very loud sound, as if large a bomb went off. My whole apartment vibrates.

I look out from my second story kitchen window to see a giant fireball against the night sky.

There must have been some kind of an explosion at the tank barge terminal.

I passed through this area on a daily basis for years, to attend school and work never once thinking that the whole place could go up in flames.

It wasn’t until I began drawing disability and moved into the apartment complex adjacent to the tank farms that the thought of an explosion crossed my mind.

I watch the flames light up the sky.

Suddenly, the weather radio in my kitchen sounds its siren.

I touch the screen so I can hear the broadcast.

My thoughts and fears are confirmed there was an explosion at the tank barge terminal.

I walk into my living room, adjust my antenna and switch my television set on.

I tune it to the local news station.

High school football is interrupted by an emergency bulletin.

The station owner is now live and he seems to think that this explosion was no accident and therefore an act of terrorism.

I watch him tell his viewers how justice must be served.

In actuality, I’m disappointed but not surprised at all. There has been serious division in this country for some time now and our enemies laugh at us.

They also know our weak points all too well.

Suddenly, there is a knock at my door.

I answer.

A young sheriff’s deputy orders me to evacuate immediately.

I promptly comply with the orders and then beg him, “Please be careful.”

“I’ll try my best, sir, you just get your butt out of here,” He replies.

With that, I place two tee shirts and two pairs of pants in my everyday carry backpack, along with my medications and the few valuables I can take with me, then walk out the door.

I lock the deadbolt, then walk down the stairs to my car, a 1991 Oldsmobile.

As I put the key in my ignition, my phone rings.

It’s my girlfriend calling.

Hurriedly, I answer, “Hey, Bae.”

“There was an explosion near you. Are you all right?”

“Yes, I have to evacuate, so I hope I can come your way.”

“Please do! I definitely need to see you right now anyway, because I was so afraid you were killed in that awful explosion.”

“I’m okay, in fact, I’m pulling out of the complex’s parking lot right now.”

“Okay, focus on driving safely.”

“Traffic might be very dense right now, though.”

“Just be careful, I’ll wait all night for you if I have to.”

“Okay, bae I’ll get there when I can. I love you and I don’t ever want to lose you.”

“I love you too and you won’t.”

“Okay, bae, bye.”

“Bye.”

I continue driving.

Cops are directing traffic at every signaled intersection, to get everyone out quickly.

I drive through the darkness. The closer I get to my girlfriend’s family’s house, it seems the longer the trip takes.

Finally, I pull into the driveway, where she is nervously sitting on the porch.

I step out of my car and she longingly rushes up to me.

We embrace, then share several sweet kisses.

“Thank God, you’re safe, bae!” She tells me.

I hold her by her beautiful, curvy waist, then look her in the eyes and speak, “I love you so much, bae!”

“I love you too!” She replies.

Her family then greets me, angered over the terrorist attack, but relieved that I survived…

A Review of the Texas Instruments TI-12 Math Explorer

As with flashlights, I have had a lifelong fascination with calculators.

I’ve frequently written about them in the past and I always carry one or two in my edc backpack.

This piece will be me reviewing a calculator that I formerly edced from 2012 to about 2016, the Texas Instruments TI-12 Math Explorer. It was initially introduced in 1987 revised in 1989, 1991, 1993 and finally 1997 (the version which I own) and still being produced by the mid-2000s, (mine came off the assembly line in February of 2005) despite an upgraded version, the TI-15 being released in February of 2000.

By the way, I would like to extend a big thank you to the wonderful people at the Datamath Calculator Museum for the photo of this calculator. I do not own the photo.

They are an excellent source of reference material pertaining to calculators and I have spent countless hours on that site, enriching my brain.

There are three to four other items which I had carried in conjunction with this calculator and they are a Blue Incandescent Mini Maglite flashlight, a Black Mini Maglite LED Pro flashlight (serial number: PG000107905), a single coping blade Cabon Steel Klein Electrician’s knife and sometimes a Black 3 D Cell Incandescent Maglite flashlight (serial number: D3049220554.)

The TI-Math Explorer was designed for elementary and middle school use. However, my sixth and seventh-grade math teacher (same person for both grades, Mrs. Phyllis Holman) was teaching us some cool math that was way ahead of the curriculum and was somehow able to get our parents to buy us each a TI-30 for her class!

In sixth grade, I used one of the many hand me down calculators that my mom’s students had discarded.

For seventh grade, I was able to convince my mom to buy me a brand new TI-30 XIIS (double line 1999 version), which I would carry in my pocket both during school and in the off hours. I would indeed sometimes carry it, but I didn’t everyday carry it.

When I was in school, I kept it in my school bag. When I was out of school, I kept it in my toolbox.

I had this calculator well into eighth grade then I misplaced it during the summer between eighth and ninth grade.

I had, believe it or not, lost interest in calculators (as well as flashlights) by this point!

It was in eighth grade that I had first learned about the TI-12 Math Explorer.

My math teacher and distant cousin, Mister Clarence Joseph Tastet, had several in his classroom which he would loan out to the students.

I never needed one of his calculators because I always had my TI-30 in his class.

By the way, one of Mr. Tastet’s amusing quirks was that he very matter of factly said, “Uh…Calculators don’t bounce!” every time a calculator fell on the floor.

He left Vandebilt Catholic High School after teaching me.

Many of the students were so durn ugly to him, I guess it was because of his temper and his no-nonsense approach to teaching. Even though we are like fourth cousins, we have the exact same temper when provoked. By the way, I will say that if you knew him outside of the classroom, he’s a really cool person and extremely smart.

At some point, I had even joked that VCHS’s math department had purchased the TI-Math Explorer in bulk because they matched the said school’s colors.

At the end of my sophomore year, I had found a gently used TI-83 Plus with no name in it, so I was able to keep it.

I would be needing one anyway for the next two math courses I was required to take.

Having this calculator briefly reignited my interest in calculators, but mostly for playing games.

During recess and class if we had free time, I would play games which I had downloaded, like 1943, Mario, Harvest Moon, and Duck Hunt. Of course, I also had to download the Mirage Operating System in order to run games written in the Assembly language on the TI-83 and TI-84 models.

I only got chewed out twice, believe it or not.

During my junior year, I had twice found a TI-Math Explorer laying on the floor.

Both times, there were the owners’ names written on the instruction card

One of them belonged to senior Katherine Mohana, which I immediately returned to her.

I forget whom the other one had belonged to, but I promptly returned that one as well.

Even back then, I guess I had fervently believed in always trying to be kind and honest.

Probably what reinforced this behavior, was that there were signs all over the school which boldly stated, “Practice Random Acts of Kindness.”

By the way, those signs should be placed in every school at every level of education, because they obviously work!

Around my senior year, I had begun to secretly covet a TI-12 Math Explorer.

However, there was only one place that sold them locally and they wanted over $25 for one.

That place was Lee’s Educational Supply in the Historical District of Downtown Houma.

Wal-Mart, Target, Office Depot/Max and even Radio Shack sold calculators that were considerably more powerful (TI-30, TI-34 and TI-36), not to mention their Casio and Sharp counterparts and the knock-off versions all for somewhat less, than what Lee’s Supply was charging for a TI-12 Math Explorer so I had hung up the idea of purchasing one.

I had other interests at the time such as collecting knives and radio equipment. My flashlight interest was also coming back. So that is what I focused my spending cash on.

Fast forward to around the age of twenty-five. I was frequently helping family, friends and now ex in-laws perform household and automotive do it yourself projects.

I was not the expert in the group, except when working on electrical or HVAC equipment, but I soon realized that a calculator which could do arithmetic with fractions, mixed numbers and decimals would be extremely useful.

Sometimes knowledge on what size socket was needed or a piece of wood needed to be cut to a precise amount or just basic arithmetic for a construction or electrical formula needed to be quickly carried out.

In November of 2012 or so, I had seen a used TI-Math Explorer in pristine condition selling for $6.99 with free shipping on eBay.

I had just enough money in my checking account, so I happily purchased it!

It came in the mail a few days later and I had begun heavily using it.

The TI-Math Explorer, while intended to be a classroom calculator, fit the bill perfectly.

Not only could it quickly convert fractions to decimals as well as add, subtract, multiply or divide fractions, decimals, and mixed numbers, it was rugged enough to be carried in a backpack or tool satchel.

It can also do exponents and has a Pi approximation constant of with a precision of 3.1415927, which is featured in lower end scientific calculators.

Furthermore, it runs strictly on solar power, which means it never needs batteries, nor will it be damaged by a leaking battery!

Due to the calculator’s rugged construction, which was to encourage use in the schoolyard, the solar cells and LCD were very protected, it made the perfect calculator for a tradesman or do it your selfer, which is virtually an unrealized market!

The keys and cabinet are made of hard plastic and it comes with a handy cover for protection when being carried or not in use.

I am, however, the only person I know of though, that used a TI-Math Explorer in a non-classroom setting.

In June of 2014, I had bought a Texas Instruments TI-36 X Pro, mainly for assistance in my experiments with weather instruments, but also for weight conversions when going to the doctor and assisting me with computer and radio scanner programming (the little that I know.)

I had kept my Math Explorer in my edc backpack though and would still use it up until about 2016.

In 2016, I had purchased a Craftsman Satchel to put all of my Craftsman tools and easily carry them whenever I needed to make a repair or assist in making a repair and I ended up placing my Math Explorer and all of the aforementioned gadgets I had carried with it in that bag.

In 2018, I had placed it and other gadgets that are sentimental to me in a tactical MOLLE pouch, that I keep near my bed.

For years, I had been wanting Texas Instruments to produce some calculators for tradespeople as other companies had done.

Lord knows their calculators are built very well, perform with high accuracy and precision not to mention they are very easy to use.

However, my opinion isn’t important enough and if it was, Victorinox would have also made a high precision thermometer for people working in the HVAC and food service industry and other companies would have made some cool gadgets that I had suggested.

When I was an HVAC student, I was playing with the idea of teaching myself machine language to write an app for graphing calculators for use in the HVAC field.

My professor, by the way, thought this was a brilliant idea, however, smartphones have become so common that they are used in place of calculators out in the field by tradespeople.

This calculator, The TI-12 Math Explorer goes above and beyond its original call of duty and my experiences with it are indeed very valid proof.

I give it a rating of 5 stars!

I guess I have a way of finding a use for devices where they turn out to be perfect solutions for situations which they were never really marketed far.

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Review of the Radio Shack® Touchscreen SAME Weather Radio with AM/FM

As stated before, I have been both afraid of as well as fascinated by the weather since I was a toddler.

I’ve also been fascinated by all sorts of technological devices since then.

I’m not sure if this interest was acquired or is it in my blood.

All in all, because of this interest, I frequently shopped at Radio Shack, until I no longer could.

In February of 2015, the Radio Shack in Southland Mall was shutting down and going out of business.

I went there to see what sales I could find.

I found an $80 for around $8, a Radio Shack 12-996.

In September of 2018, this radio is still going strong.

This particular model gets the AM (Medium Wave) and FM broadcast bands in addition to the Weather Radio channels.

It is “Public Alert” certified, meaning I can program the SAME code for any County or Parish and have it only go off for when there is an alert for that specific administrative division

It also has an alarm clock.

For power, it runs on either four AA batteries or an AD/DC wall adapter.

The front firing speaker on this radio has superb audio quality.

The entire controls on this radio are controlled by a touchscreen interface, something which required me getting used to. At the time of purchase, I didn’t even have a touchscreen phone.

However, once I had gotten accustomed to this device, it has become a faithful companion.

When I lived with my wife, this was a very useful bedside radio.

After her and I split up, and I moved out, I kept it and it became an equally useful kitchen radio.

As of now it rules my kitchen counter and keeps me entertained and informed while cooking, washing dishes or doing anything else that requires me to be in my kitchen.

Aesthetically, it reminds me of one of those kitchen radios that housewives had during the Golden Age of Radio. Granted it has an integrated circuit instead of vacuum tubes, a touch screen instead of knobs and buttons and a PLL tuner instead of a dial tuner, but the form factor still reminds me of one of those antique radios from that era. I’ll go as far as to say how I frequently think of a woman walking home with her family from church on December 7, 1941, then going into her kitchen and listening to the radio as she prepares Sunday Dinner. Soon she hears about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, then walks back to her church to pray for the victims and her country.

The radios of those days only received AM, however, this radio also gets FM and Weather.

Hopefully, it will keep me entertained and informed for years to come.

It faithfully picks up every weather alert I have programmed it to and blares a loud siren.

It also picks up every AM and FM station within reason and range.

This is one [recent] Radio Shack product that, I feel still has a superior quality.

There are only two things I don’t like about this radio and they are:
I wish the backlight could be turned off when the radio is on standby.

I wish the AM and FM tuners could have an international mode where FM tunes in 100 or 50 KHz steps and AM could be set to tune in 9 KHz steps while in other countries, but have the default 10 KHz when being used in North America.

I know the radio isn’t really designed for AM DXing, a better AM antenna should have been internally installed, but I myself am an AM DXer, so that is why I suggested this feature.

I would have never bought this radio at its MSRP, but since I got it on clearance, I do not regret my purchase at all.

These are a bit hard to find brand new these days, but eBay frequently carries them.

If you can get one, you will enjoy it.

All in all, I give this product a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Back to “Product Reviews”

A Sunday Spent Together-Grocer and Writer (Young Lady’s Perspective)

My mom ranted and raved all night last night but finally, she crashed.

It is in the wee hours of Sunday morning and I want to see my boyfriend so badly.

He promised that he would spend the day with me and I hope he keeps that promise.

I text him, “I hope we can still hang out later today. My mom has been on a rampage. She finally crashed, though.”

Hours pass. He’s probably sleeping.

I’ll get dressed just in case.

There I’m nice and warm.

While I wait for his reply, I listen to music on my phone with earbuds attached.

Finally, I get a reply text, “Of course we can hang out. I’m just waking up, but would you like me to bring you to my house?”

“Sure, that would be wonderful.”

“Say no more. I’ll come get you right now.”

“I can’t wait.”

“Let me just get dressed.”

“I love you, baby!”

“I love you too!”

I go wait on the driveway in the cold. It’s worth waiting in the cold.

Finally, he pulls up and steps out of the car.

I embrace him then say, “Let’s get out of here.”

He kisses my forehead and replies, “Your wish is my command!”

My boyfriend then opens the passenger door for me and I step in.

He then enters from the driver’s side, starts the car and we leave.

“Now my house isn’t the best, in fact far from it,” He tells me.

“That’s all right. At least you have a place of your own,” I reply trying to reassure him.

“Now I have to warn you about my neighbors-they are shady. Please don’t talk to them, don’t even look at them.”

“They’re that bad?”

“Yes. They are on drugs.”

“Like my mom?”

“Worse. They’re also in a gang. I don’t think your mom would kill someone for a yes or no.”

“Oh, my.”

“This is what I mean when I say I wish I would have better researched the neighborhood.”

He then tries to comfort me by saying, “They never made trouble with me. Of course, I have to overlook a lot of things they do.”

“Like what?”

“Like not call the police when they are blaring that loud vulgar music or parading the streets when they are drunk or high. I just stay inside anyway though, unless I am getting the mail or cutting my grass.”

“Then I’ll stay inside too.”

We are now entering his run-down neighborhood.

He drives up to a railroad crossing just as the gates are going down.

I tell him soberly, “I guess this is where the railroad line was relocated. My dad and other people in my subdivision fought to have the railroad taken out of our area and moved to the less fortunate part of the city.”

“It doesn’t bother me that much. In fact, if the economy wasn’t so bad right now, I’d try to get a job with the railroad. The hours would be just a little worse, but the pay would be exponentially higher.”

“We wouldn’t get to see each other as much though. Just let my dad get you published as a writer, he has the connections.”

“You’re right. Then I would be on easy street.”

“Just make sure to always make time for us.”

“Don’t worry I will. I mean if I didn’t how would I have any inspiration?”

The train has now passed and the gates went back up. Cautiously my boyfriend crosses the tracks.

We drive through his neighborhood and parks his car against the curb.

He escorts me out, then unlocks the gate to his hurricane fence.

Together we cut across his front yard then go up the steps to his porch.

He gets his house key and unlocks the deadbolt on his front door and we enter his house.

“This is it,” He tells me humbly.

He then walks to the master bedroom and switches the thermostat on. Seconds later his floor furnace lights up.

I look around the house and tell him, “It’s not so bad.”

I then see his desk with the computer and composition books.

“Is this where you write?” I ask him.

“It sure is,” He replies.

“Could you read your stories to me?”

“I would love to.”

He gets a chair from his dining room and hands me the swivel chair.

We sit at the computer and he reads to me.

My stomach growls loudly.

I wonder if he can hear it.

The gurgling continues.

He looks at me and I smile at him.

“Are you hungry?” He asks me.

“Yes. My mom went on another binge eating episode and I didn’t make any more groceries yet.”

“Let’s go to my kitchen and see if I can feed you something.”

We walk to the kitchen and he looks through the cabinets.

He retrieves a can of Always Save Pork ‘N’ Beans.

He shows it to me and says, “I hope this is all right with you.”

“It’s fine. I would eat anything.”

“Then I’ll heat it up for you.”

He takes a Swiss Army Knife from my kitchen drawer and uses it to open the can.

Then he pours the beans into a saucepan and lights his stove. We wait for them to get hot.

He also brews some CDM coffee and chicory blend.

“We can have some cafe’ au lait with some rice pudding for dessert.”

“Thanks, but I’m already so fat and I shouldn’t eat sweets.”

“I think you’re beautiful; body, heart and soul and I would want you no matter what size you are.”

“I wish I could be skinny, but it’s such an uphill battle.”

“Well just know that I love you, no matter what size.”

I passionately throw my arms around him and exclaim, “I love you too!”

The beans are now warm and he places them on a plate for each of us. Then he pours some Best Choice Creme Soda.

We then sit down and eat.

I’m so hungry that I scarf down my food.

After we are finished eating, he asks me, “What would you like to do?”

“Snuggle together.”

“Well let’s go sit on the sofa and watch a movie. There’s usually one that plays on Sunday on one of the local TV stations.”

I follow him to the living room then wrap my legs around him as we cover up in a blanket.

He turns the television on, pulls up the guide feature and reads the Breaking Dawn 1 and 2 are playing back to back.

We sit and watch, holding hands.

After the movies are over, he asks me, “Would you like some dessert? I know you are worried about your weight, but I like to spoil you.”

“I guess I’ll take some. I do have a sweet tooth, maybe that’s why I fell for you.”

With that, he pours the coffee and chickory blend then add some milk and sugar.

Afterward, he gets us each a cup of Senor Rico Rice pudding from his old refrigerator.

We sit on the sofa and eat, smiling at each other blissfully.

After we are done, it is now dark.

“I hate to leave, but I need to get home before my parents realize I’m gone.”

“I’ll take you home, but I’ll definitely miss you.”

So we leave his house.

We walk to his car and he opens the passenger door for me. He’s so sweet.

He then enters on the driver side and starts the car.

Sadly we drive through the December night until we arrive at my parents’ house.

“I can’t wait to spend time with you again,” I say, kissing him good night.

“Hopefully, it will be in just a few days.”

“I love you so much!”

“I love you just as much!”

We kiss once more and then I go inside.

Back to “My [Non-Offensive] “Grocer and Writer” Pieces”

Black Friday-Grocer and Writer (Young Lady’s Perspective)

My mom has been asleep for the past few hours.

It is now late in the evening.

I am wondering if my newly found boyfriend is clocked out yet.

I’ll try calling him…

He answers, “Hello, baby.”

“Hey, you!” I reply.

There’s a reluctance in his voice as he tells me, “I’m glad you called, I really am. But I have to conserve my minutes for work.”

“Oh. I see.”

“I’m so sorry, but I’m low on minutes as it is.” He pauses then continues, “I have unlimited texting and would be willing to text you all night long if you wish.”

“Yes. I can do that. I’d really love to hear your voice more, but I’ll text you if it means we can keep in touch.”

“I know I’ve found someone wonderful if you’re willing to put up with that!”

“You’re making me blush!”

There’s an awkward silence, but then I say, “Well let’s hang up so we can text each other and you don’t run out of minutes.”

“Okay, baby.”

“All right. Bye for now.”

“Bye.”

I then get a message, “I’m definitely happy you’re understanding of my situation and I want to get to know you more.”

I quickly reply, “i wnt 2 get 2 kno u 2”

“Then ask me something.”

“ok how did u end up n the city?”

“I wanted to get away from my parents and found work and cheap real estate. The Downtown Grocer hired me on the spot, the same day I applied in fact. The people who sold me my house were all too eager to get rid of it.”

“i lik how u use good grammar wen u text. no 1 els i kno does that.”

“Thanks. I want to be a writer you know. You should try using proper grammar when you text as well.”

“Okay, I will from now on. You know you write beautiful stories.”

“Thanks. That means plenty coming from you.”

“I would know. I was an honor student before I dropped out and English was my favorite subject.”

“Why did you drop out?”

“Because there is no bus transportation to the private school I was attending and my mom is always loaded.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Yes, and I would be tormented horribly if I attended the public school in my district because I’m so fat.”

“I think you’re absolutely beautiful, but I know how cruel high school students can be. So I can’t say I blame you.”

“You’re making me blush again.”

“I wish I could see your pretty blush.”

“You can. I’ll take a selfie and send it to you.” “Let me walk to the bathroom mirror.”

“You are so darn cute!” He tells me, then continues, “Did you ever have a boyfriend before me?”

“Nope. I just had crushes on a lot of boys but they all turned me down because of my weight.”

“Well they were such fools to do so, but that makes you even more special.”

“Why? Because I’m a virgin?”

“Yes. If only you knew the reverence I have for you.”

“Lot’s of people mocked me for being a virgin.”

“Well don’t worry about them, because they don’t even matter.”

Then he says, “It’s cold in here. I have to turn my floor furnace on. I’ll be right back.”

I send him a message, “I wish I was there to keep you warm.”

“I would be honored to sit next to you wrapped up in a blanket. But, what would your parents think?”

“I don’t think they would mind once they see how sweet you are, but if they did, they can only control up until February 4th, because then I’ll be eighteen.”

“Still, I’d like to stay on their good side.”

“You wouldn’t see them much anyway, my dad is always working and my mom is always loaded on pills and booze.”

“What does your dad do for a living?”

“All I know is that he is a business executive, but he puts his job before everything else. He chases that money but money isn’t everything, you know.”

“It makes life easier.”

“But it’s not worth tearing up your family, nothing is.”

“That much is true.”

“Promise me, no matter how successful of a writer you become, that you’ll always make time for me.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever be successful.”

“Just promise me. My dad knows people who could get you published.”

“You’re right. I promise and swear to you that you’ll always be my top priority. I’m just thankful you put up with me and this God awful job I have now.”

“It won’t always be this way, things will get better. Just be patient and have some faith.”

“Thanks for the encouragement!”

“Anytime. Now I have to go. My mom just woke up and she is very belligerent.”

“Okay, text me when you can and hopefully soon I can take you out on a date.”

“That would be wonderful! I can’t wait ’til then. I guess I’ll tell you good night.”

“Good night, baby.”

I plug my phone in then prepare myself to deal with my mom.

It is going to be a long night.

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How They Met-Grocer and Writer (Young Lady’s Perspective)

My parents are fighting again. My dad always tries to be a good provider but I think he works too much. My mom resents the fact that he puts his career before her and uses pills to fill the void that his affections once occupied. My dad loathes my mom’s pill habit and avoids her like the Plague.

Earlier on in the school year, I made excellent marks. I was even an honor student. Now that my mom is always loaded and my dad is gone for weeks at a time, I cannot get a ride to school. There is no bus service to the private school I attend and I would endure hellish torment if I attended the public high school in my district. So, I dropped out. My dad is slightly bothered, but he doesn’t do anything. My mom doesn’t care at all.

It’s Thanksgiving and my dad is home, for today at least. You would think we could celebrate as a family, but my parents are at each other’s throats. It may be cold and sunny outside but there is a nasty storm brewing inside. I do not want to be hit by their flying debris, so I go to the park. I watch the brown Sycamore leaves fly around in the breeze and go exploring.

Suddenly; I see him, sitting there, writing something in a composition book. He’s greatly focused on his work. I watch him for just a little bit. He’s very cute so I smile at him. He smiles back. I walk past him, feeling giddy. He actually noticed me. I wonder what he is like. I have no one at all. My family is a mess as I have already said. Could he possibly be a friend, maybe even a lover? I surely need love in my life.

So I begin to pace up and down the walking path, looking at him each time I pass by. He notices me.

So, I say to him, “Hi.”

“Hello,” He replies.

“Could I sit with you?”

“Sure, I guess,” I am so happy, he is actually letting me sit with him!

“You’re cute,” I tell him as I smile from ear to ear.

“Thanks, I guess.”

That’s all?

Maybe he isn’t attracted to me. I wish I could be skinny like all the other girls I know. There’s only one way to find out what he really thinks about me.

I’ll ask, “Do you think I’m also cute or am I too fat?”

“I think you’re very beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

He is so sweet to tell me that. I want him even more now! “Good. You make me feel special!”

There is a quick silence, but then “I’m very happy that you want to sit with me, but don’t you have a family to go home to?”

“I do, but my parents are fighting like cats and dogs and Thanksgiving was canceled.” What will he think of me now?

“That’ awful. I’m so sorry you have to go through that.” Wait, what is he doing now? He hugged me!

“What about you? Don’t you have any family?”

He replies “I do, but they’re all far away from me. I can’t afford to travel to them and they can’t afford to travel to me.”

Why can’t he afford to visit his family and they can’t afford to visit him either?

So, I ask him, “Do you work?”

“Yes. I’m a stocker at The Downtown Grocer, it’s a God awful job. I can do so much better if only I had the chance.”

“How can you do better?”

“With this.” He shows me his composition book and continues, “I am trying to become established as a writer.”

That is so awesome. My dad knows people who could get him published. Maybe he would love me if I could make him successful.

I would love to see what he writes about as I always enjoyed English classes.

“Let me read.”

“Sure,” He says and hands me the book. He actually hands me the book.

I begin to read. These love stories he writes fill me with all kinds of wonderful feelings. Oh my; I am now blushing.

“These are beautiful. I love them!”

I know what I’m going to do; I’ll give him my phone number.

So I ask him, “Could I borrow your pen?”

“What for?”

“I want to write something for you.” I wonder if he can see me blushing? My face feels so warm.

“Here you go.”

Quickly; I write down the ten digits and say, “That is for you.”

He’s blushing. Now he is slightly distressed. Did I come off too strong?

He then asks me leerily, “How old are you, anyway?”

Why is he asking me that? I know how I’ll handle this. “It’s impolite to ask a girl her age, but that’s all right because I think you are nice. You’re cute, too, but I told you that already.”

He seems unfazed, then says, “So, I will re-state my question; how old are you?”

Humbly, I reply “I’m seventeen if you must know.”

“You’re young,” He tells me cautiously. Well, of course, I am young. He is young too, right?

“I may be young, but you seem like a sweet guy.” I know what I’ll do. I’m going to kiss him-just a quick peck on the cheek.

He is shocked and seems cautious.

“You know I am twenty-two and I can get in plenty of trouble.”

Oh no, I hope I didn’t blow it. Let me see if I can salvage this, “Wow, I thought you were my age. I still like you, though.” I tell him. There is a silence, so I continue “You don’t have to worry about getting in trouble because I won’t make you do anything illegal.”

“Are you asking me out?”

“Yes.”

It is quiet now. I want him so much.

“So, will you be mine?” I ask.

He’s now staring at me. What is he thinking right now? If he rejects me; my heart will be broken. Can he see the tears I am holding back?

Finally, he says, “Yes. I’ll be yours because love knows no numbers. Forgive me for making you wait, I’m just nervous that’s all.”

“Don’t worry; I forgive you. Just know that you don’t have to be nervous around me.”

“I’ll try not to be.”

He still seems leery. I am going to kiss him, this time I won’t hold back. Oh my, now he is kissing me too. My heart is singing!

I want his number, too. Let’s see if I can get it from him, “Could I have your phone number as well?”

“Sure.” Oh my he is actually calling it out. Now we’re programming each others’ numbers into our phones. Slowly our faces and lips are meeting. We’re going to kiss yet again! I hope this never ends. I snuggle next to him on the bench and he reads to me. We sit there for hours until the sun sets and the temperature drops.

“Shouldn’t you be home?”

I know I should and I had better get there before my parents realize I am gone. So I ask him, “I guess. Could you walk me home?”

“I’ll drive you home instead.”

We walk to his car, an old Toyota. It starts up perfectly, despite its age. I wish I could somehow get him a better car. I know if I can help get published through one of my dad’s connections, he would be rich and then he would love me for it. I think he would love me anyway or at least that is my hope. I sit next to him and give him directions to my parents’ house. He holds me with his right arm. We are now in my parents’ driveway.

I give him a long goodnight kiss and say “Call me.” Oh, how I hope and pray that he will. If not; I will call him. I look at him from the window and wave as he drives off into the night.

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